Cosmetic surgery reforms

Find out what we’re doing to make cosmetic surgery safer in Australia.

About the reforms

We are working with state and territory governments to build stronger protections and improve patient safety for people undergoing cosmetic surgery in Australia.

In September 2022, Health Ministers agreed to urgent reforms to protect the public. The reforms create greater transparency for patients and strengthen the standards and regulatory framework for medical practitioners.


The reforms aim to:

  • prevent medical practitioners from using the title “surgeon” without the appropriate qualifications
  • develop an ‘Area of Practice’ endorsement to set the minimum skills and qualifications for medical practitioners performing complex cosmetic procedures
  • review licensing standards for facilities where cosmetic surgery occurs
  • maintain a legislative ban on medical practitioners using patient testimonials for cosmetic surgery, including on social media.

Progress of the reforms

Title protection

Legislation to protect the title ‘surgeon’ was passed on 13 September 2023.

The change means that a medical practitioner can only use the title of ‘surgeon’ (including ‘cosmetic surgeon’) if they are registered and completed training in one of the following recognised specialities:

  • surgery
  • ophthalmology
  • obstetrics
  • gynaecology.

This reform helps patients better understand a practitioners’ level of skills and qualifications so they can make an informed choice.

Area of practice endorsement

The ‘Area of Practice’ endorsement (cosmetic surgery) was implemented from 1 July 2023. The endorsement sets out the minimum training considered necessary by the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) to safely perform complex cosmetic procedures.

The endorsement for cosmetic surgery:

  • helps patients know who is trained and qualified to perform cosmetic surgery safely
  • makes it clear on the public register if a doctor has not met cosmetic surgery standards set by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) and the MBA.  

Find out more about the Area of practice endorsement.

Licensing standards

On 1 September 2023, Health Ministers approved the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) review of standards for cosmetic procedures and a new licencing framework for facilities where cosmetic procedures are performed.

State and territory governments have committed to  implementing the new licencing framework.

Find out more about the new licensing framework.

Guidelines for advertising and medical practitioners who perform cosmetic procedures

The Medical Board of Australia (MBA) has implemented revised new cosmetic surgery advertising guidelines, and developed revised new guidelines for medical practitioners who perform cosmetic procedures that strengthen protections for patients.

Find out more about the guidelines.

Public education resources

Patient resources

Cosmetic surgery has risks. If you’re considering cosmetic surgery, it’s important to do your research using reliable sources of information.

Find out about cosmetic surgery in Australia and how to make an informed decision about your procedure.

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